Monday, October 27, 2008

Ha!--Take That, Stereotype

I am pleased to hear from Stephen's Lighthouse that a new study (reported on Ars Technica) indicates that many popular stereotypes about gamers are wrong.

I could do no better than quote at length from the Ars Technica report.

  • 55 percent of gamers polled were married, 48 percent have kids, and new gamers – those who have started playing videogames in the past two years—are 32 years old on average
  • More than 75 percent of videogamers play games with other people either online or in person
  • More than 47 percent of people living in gaming households saying that videogames were a fun way to interact with other family members
  • 37 percent of gamers said friends and family relied upon them to stay up-to-date about movies, TV shows and the latest entertainment news, compared to only 22 percent for nongamers
  • 39 percent of gamers said that friends and family rely upon them to stay up-to-date about the latest technology
  • In terms of hard dollars, the average gaming household income ($79,000) is notably higher than that of nongaming households ($54,000), but the value of the gamer as a marketing target can be seen in a variety of ways
  • Gamers are 13 percent more likely to go out to a movie, 11 percent more likely to play sports, and 9 percent more likely to go out with friends than nongamers
  • Gamers are twice as likely as nongamers to buy a product featuring new technology even if they are aware that there are still bugs
  • Gamers are also twice as likely as nongamers to pay a premium for the newest technology on the market
  • Gamers also consume media in different ways than nongamers, with hardcore gamers spending five more hours on the Internet, two more hours watching television and two more hours listening to music than nongamers per week
And the counterintuitive kicker:
  • Gamers are twice as likely to go out on dates as nongamers in a given month

It's true that I am an old-fashioned gamer myself, being prone to tabletop role playing games where these days the term usually means people who play video games. I'm actually not positive I'm even included in this study, which refers specifically only to videogamers, but I nevertheless feel a kinship with my fellow amusement-seekers of various stripes. 

I will therefore claim for myself the study's positive findings, and confirm that I do have some marginal social skills and am not locked up in my parents' basement eating potato chips every single day.  

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